The news had already been in the air for several weeks, but now it is taking on more and more the contours of a certainty. British Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston confirmed that Russian and Belarusian athletes who want to participate in sporting events in Great Britain will have to sign a written declaration declaring themselves against the war and against the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
For these athletes it is already foreseen in practically every competition the need to compete as a neutral athlete, without being able to compete under the flag of their own nation. The maneuver of the British ministry moves precisely on the definition of neutrality: “If they say they are neutral, we want the certainty that they are genuinely neutral and that there is no connection with Putin ”. So commented Huddleston himself.
Inevitably, this maneuver would also affect the Wimbledon tournament which, given the quality expressed by Russian and partly Belarusian tennis in recent years, risks being the most affected event. We know very well how Russia, especially in the men’s field, has become an excessive power capable of expressing talents among the best in the world.
At risk, therefore, the participation of Daniil Medvedev, number 2 in the world, after being recently and very briefly also number 1. The English tournament has never so far been an event in which the Russian has expressed himself at his best, never managing to get through the fourth round, but certainly his absence could completely upset the scoreboard and the balance of power.
Great Britain: Russian and Belarusian athletes will have to condemn the invasion in writing to participate in sporting events
Obviously, Russia’s number 2, Andrey Rublev, is also in the same situation, currently seventh in the ATP ranking. They risk the same fate too Karen Khachanov and Aslan Karatsev, both in the top 30 in the world. In the women’s tournament the most impressive exclusion would certainly be that of the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, number 5 in the world and able to reach the final last year. With her they risk staying out too Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Viktoria Azarenka, Veronika Kudermetova and Daria Kasatkina, just to stop us in the top30. In short, the impact this move can have on the Wimbledon tournament is enormous and has obviously sparked enormous controversy. The impression is that this matter is not yet closed and there may be new developments in the coming days.